Ah, Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for family, jet-setting and back-to-back social commitments. And let’s not forget about champagne, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres aplenty.
Headed home for Christmas? Regardless of the airline you choose to fly with, as the cabin doors close and the air-hostesses run through the plane’s safety demonstration, they all share the same message: you need to look after yourself before you can look after others. During the festive season, this sentiment rings true across the board. How can you show up wholeheartedly for your friends and family if you’re running on empty?
Avoid burnout this silly season by stealing a few moments here and there to take 10 and just breathe. Here, we round up four easy ways to practice self-care throughout December.
1. Keep calm and do a face mask
While we’re all self-care Sunday – we’re also advocates for self-care Thursday, Friday and Saturday, too. The best time to schedule in some R&R is the time that suits you.
La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Sleep Mask is the most luxurious way to recreate a facial at home. This ultra-nourishing formula replenishes tired skin and increases the feeling of tautness and suppleness.
To make the most of Skin Caviar Sleep Mask, apply in the evening after going through the motions of your usual cleanse, tone, serum routine. Use the brush provided to smooth the product all over you face, taking care to avoid the eye area. Brush upward on the forehead, up and out on the cheeks and downward on the nose and chin. No need to wash off – Skin Caviar Sleep Mask will continue to nourish skin overnight.
With this mask, skin undergoes a transformation while you sleep. Any moisture that has been lost during the day – thanks to air-conditioning, your natural skin type or the climate – will be restored after lights out. In addition, key ingredient Caviar Premier lifts and firms.
The best part of this indulgent experience? Waking up in the AM and clocking yourself in the mirror. Your complexion is in for a treat.
2. Book in for a massage
Check in with your body: are you tensing your shoulders right now? (No really – are you?) When we’re busy, overworked or just a bit frazzled, we can often unknowingly hold tension in our neck and shoulders. Upper-body muscle aches are one of the most common signs of stress.
What’s a girl to do? For quick relief, book in for a massage at a reputable clinic. Gritty Pretty’s Little Black Book of Beauty is a directory of beauty and wellness destinations – including massage clinics – that have been tried, tested and approved by our team of beauty editors.
Not only is a massage good for your body, it’s also beneficial to your mind, too. An entire hour of calm, sans any form of commitment? That’s our definition of bliss.
3. Light a scented candle
Certain scents have been shown to ease the symptoms of anxiety, naturally. Light a candle at the end of a long day to help you wind down and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Need a new candle? Look for one infused with a calming hint of lavender, ylang ylang and/or rose.
The soft light of the candle will tell your brain it’s time to relax as you slowly prepare for bed. Of course, for safety’s sake, keep an eye on your energy levels and blow out the flame just before you hit the hay.
4. Find time to meditate
The benefits of meditation are numerous and wide-reaching. The pace of modern life can be a lot to deal with at times – particularly during December. It’s normal for feelings of stress to creep in. The good news? Meditation can help.
Not only does meditation reduce stress and anxiety, it also strengthens immunity and reduces heart disease. Plus, as your happy hormones increase, meditation can literally make your skin glow – a (very welcome) side effect.
To start meditating, all you need is yourself and a quiet space:
Step 1: Sit comfortably with your back supported and hands resting gently in your lap.
Step 2: Take three deep breaths through the nose and out the mouth, slowly and gently relaxing the body.
Step 3: Starting with the top of the head, move your attention body part by body part from the top of the head to the toes, taking in as much or as little parts as you like.
Step 4: After you have scanned your whole body, relaxing each part as you go, simply sit for 10–15 minutes and bring your awareness gently back to your breath.
Step 5: When you’re ready to come out of your meditation, simply bring you mind back to the present, open your eyes, take a deep breath and feel the difference.
What are your favourite ways to practice self-care over the Christmas period? Have you tried La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Sleep Mask? Tell us in the comments below.